June is the month to spread the word of what post-traumatic stress disorder is, a mental health condition that leaves you in a state of fear as a response to the trauma you have experienced. Not everyone is aware of how severe and life-changing have PTSD can be. By spreading awareness and educating others on what PTSD is this month, you can make a difference in helping those currently suffering with it and helping the movement of new treatments.
According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, there are about 8 million people in the United States that have PTSD. Even though there are PTSD treatments available to help those struggling with this mental illness, many do not want to do anything about it. The first thing you can do in June for PTSD is to help raise awareness of the condition. It is important that veterans or civilians who have gone through serious trauma are aware of the various treatment options available that can help lead to a better quality of life.
You can accomplish spreading awareness by filling out a pledge form on the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website. You first provide the contact information of your local, regional, or national organization that you plan on working with in regards to PTSD awareness. Then, you check how your organization will spread awareness whether it is an information table, presentation, through social media, community conversation, etc. There is then a space to talk about your plans or ideas for how you and your organization plan on sharing awareness. Once this is done, the department will post organization names and URLs on the PTSD Awareness section of their website.
Spread the Word
A second suggestion the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs offers are ways to spread the word about what PTSD is. You can do this by looking at the PTSD awareness calendar on the website that tells you every day what you can do in June to spread the word of PTSD such as asking a veteran how they are doing, hosting a PTSD awareness event, sharing your video about PTSD symptoms, etc. There are also two forms that give suggestions of how to spread the word through different mediums like through social media, at home, at work or school, in your community, in your clinics, or how to continue learning about PTSD.
The website shows an example of how to write a blog post about PTSD as well as a sample proclamation. There are social media post suggestions you can put on your profile as well as pictures the website provides that you can put on your profile. The website also offers flyers and banners that you can print out and post anywhere you want. There are even YouTube videos on PTSD and treatments to watch, share, and to ask TV and radio stations to show.
Partner With the National Center for PTSD
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs gives a list of organizations that are committed to helping them spread awareness and you can join them as well. By clicking on each link, you can learn about each organization, where they are located in your area, and how you can help them spread awareness. This will help you better be able to fill out your pledge knowing which organizations work to spread PTSD awareness.
In order to better help spread awareness about PTSD, it helps to better understand the condition to give people the answer to questions that have always been stirring in their minds. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs offers a page all about the basics of PTSD that states the different types, who develops it, the symptoms in adults and children, if people with PTSD will get better, and treatment options available.
There is also a booklet about understanding PTSD and treatment and free courses that the department provides that you can earn education credits for. To help understand the treatment, there is a whiteboard video about knowing which treatments are best for you and a decision aid to help discover the best treatment options. You can also learn about the website AboutFace where veterans, family members, and clinicians speak about the life impact of PTSD treatments.
In order for others to know where to get help for their symptoms, it would help you to know where to look. If someone is in a crisis, make sure they first call 911, then go to the nearest emergency room, or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. If you are a veteran battling PTSD, you can contact the Veterans Crisis Line at the same number pressing 1. You can also send a text message to 838255 or chat online at the Confidential Veterans Chat. You can also learn through the department how to find a good provider through the internet or the phone as well as what to look for in a therapist. You can also learn about different hotlines that families and friends can use to learn more about this mental illness as well as coping strategies for family members when it comes to deployment and when a family member goes to war. Even if you do not have PTSD, there is no harm in learning more about it so that you can teach others how serious it is and how to tackle the challenges that may appear.
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